sagres

Sagres - on the western tip of the Algarve.

On the western tip of the Algarve, rises the town of Sagres with its glorious beaches and breathtaking landscape.

In the 15th century, Sagres was known for its navigation school which was founded by Prince Henry the Navigator and it was from here that the first caravels were launched during the Portuguese Age of Discovery.

The town is still relatively untouched by tourism and is mainly surrounded by low-rise houses and quiet streets. Sagres offers visitors a fantastic coastline full of beaches and dramatic cliffs, which provide the perfect setting for a hike.

The turbulent sea also attracts many surfers to Sagres who are eager to catch the best waves in Portugal. If you’re just starting out you can join one of the many surf schools in the area and if you’re already a pro, you can just hire the surf equipment to avoid carrying your own.

Besides the beaches, Sagres has two important landmarks, the Fortaleza de Sagres and Cabo São Vicente. Fortaleza de Sagres was originally established in the 15th century and later restored in 1793. Inside the fortress, there is an old cistern tower, a small church founded in the 16th century and a huge wind compass, which up until 1921, was buried below a church. From Fortaleza de Sagres you can admire the views over the sheer cliffs all the way to the headland of Cabo São Vicente, Europe’s most south-westerly point.

Cabo São Vicente was named after the body of Saint Vincent was taken there to protect the region from the Moors invasion and it was considered a place of pilgrimage for centuries. Sitting at the top of the cliff there is a lighthouse which is among the most powerful lighthouses in Europe as it can be spotted for up to 45 km away from the coast.

Sagres is best explored with a car since there isn’t much public transport in the region. You can reach the headland by car or you can take one of the local buses that depart from Sagres from Monday to Friday.

Between the Fortaleza de Sagres and the Cabo São Vicente stands the Reserva Biogenética de Sagres, a protected area with a unique ecosystem that is very popular with birdwatchers.

Every year in October, Sagres hosts the Festival Mundial de Observação de Aves, a birdwatching festival, where you can enjoy guided walks with experts and learn more about the birds in the region. Other annual events in Sagres include the carnival celebrations, between February or March and the Sagres Festival which honours the patron saint of Nossa Senhora da Graça. The festival takes place from the 16th to the 17th of August and includes a procession of boats to the Cabo São Vicente.

Explore this region by following our Vila do Bispo tour. Also read about Vila do Bispo, Vila do Bispo beaches and Burgau.

Return to the home page